Having your heart broken more than once can change the way you look at people, relationships, and sometimes even yourself.
You’ve lost count of the number of times you’ve placed your trust in someone else’s hands and had it broken. “Trust, like safety, runs deep. When we don't experience trust, as when we don't experience safety, we shut down, protect, and hide our vulnerability,” wrote Miki Kashtan, Ph.D., author of Reweaving Our Human Fabric. When you’ve been hurt over and over again, you no longer trust people the same way.
Although you’ve been through a turmoil of emotions, you have accepted them all and moved on from them. But it has changed you. You never beat yourself up over why you felt a certain way because there’s no right way of feeling after getting your heart broken. “…emotions can’t be wrong—they just are. Saying your emotions are wrong is like saying you were born with the wrong color hair,” as Leslie Becker-Phelps Ph.D., a licensed psychologist explained. So, you dealt with your emotions in the only way you know. And although you no longer hold on to the past, you’re not the same woman you were 5 or 10 years ago. You have your emotional scars to remind you of that. Here’s how you change after you’ve been hurt far too many times.
First impressions can be deceiving and it took you time to realize that. There have been people who made you give up your self-respect and people who made you agonize over why you always love too much. Today, you wait patiently for people to show their true colors before letting yourself be comfortable with them. It’s your way of protecting yourself after having your heart be deceived.
You have met all kinds of people throughout your life. But the ones you fell in love with and then left you shattered and alone are the ones who have hurt you the most. You learned that love is not enough to sustain a relationship. No more are you blinded by the idea of prince charming or the fairytale kind of romance. You understood that it takes two people who are ready to respect each other and treat each other’s needs equally to build a strong relationship.
There was a time when you used to trust people without a second of doubt. Your compassionate self always chose to give people a chance. But from everything that you have been through, you learned not to give away your trust, because it can be crushed within moments. While you still choose to be kind to the people around you, the ones who earn your trust are the people who give you the same love and respect in return.
No more mind games and no more hidden agendas. You’re done with people who aren’t brave enough to say what they really mean. You also don’t tolerate people who say one thing in front of you and then do the exact opposite behind your back. After being hurt so many times, you have decided to save up your second chances for people who really deserve it.
You will never forget those relationships where you felt manipulated or sabotaged into doing things you didn’t want to do. There were times when the people you trusted sucked all the air out of the relationship and made it all about themselves. It took you time to heal the emotional scars of those relationships, and now you want to surround yourself with people who love you for who you are and never expect you to change.
It’s not that you are cynical or suspicious. You’re just looking out for yourself, and that stops you from opening up to just anyone. After all that heartbreak, there was a point of time where you thought there were no kind and honest people out there. But eventually, you made peace with what happened and understood that not everyone is the same. You understood that everyone will laugh with you, but there are a few special ones who will share your pain with you as well. And those are the people you show your innermost feelings to.
There are parts of you that have completely changed. Sometimes you look in the mirror and feel like that young, hearty, cheerful woman is lost forever. But even though you read people differently now, think before you trust someone, and think twice before you give your heart away, you are still you. Eventually, you realize that you don’t have to let your warmth fade away.